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For the past several weeks I’ve been distracted by our political turmoil, spending much more time outside my studio making my voice heard. Democracy can be messy and exhausting and I definitely need a break. More specifically I need an ART break. Maybe you do too?
I’ve heard from many artists who say they are having trouble focusing or simply not feeling very creative right now. That’s understandable, and please know that you are not alone, but finding a way back into making art can help. You can see why this is one of my favorite quotes:
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
~ Pablo Picasso
A few days ago I realized there’s a quick way I can help — by making my classes more accessible. So I’ve reduced the prices on all of my online encaustic classes! Each purchase gives you a full year of immediate access to the class videos, with the ability to watch them as many times as you’d like and work at your own pace.
So go on, dig in. Now you can try something new for less while “washing away the dust.” And don’t forget to breathe.
I’ve taught encaustic workshops for many years using pancake griddles as the hot palettes, so I’ve become pretty opinionated about the type I like. I have a wonderful R&F Paints heated palette which I love, but since most students won’t be able to get that right away I like to teach with what they’re likely to have at home.
My favorite griddle brands are Rival and Presto because they last for years and offer fairly even heat which is important when painting with wax. I was almost tempted this time by another brand offering a white ceramic surface which would be great for mixing colors, but the reviews were not terrific, specifically mentioning uneven heat. So off I went to get my new griddles. It was a pretty funny trip because you get some strange looks at the store when you buy pancake griddles in bulk!
I was disappointed not to find the type I love but then I realized I had stumbled upon something even better: a square griddle (easier to reach everything if you’re shorter like me or can’t stand while you paint) with a tiny drainage area (which keeps any wax you’re mixing on the palette from falling into the drain) and a warming tray attachment that can be removed and replaced with a wooden dowel to create a handy paintbrush holder.
I’ve just replaced all of my griddles with this style for my upcoming classes, so I’m excited to try them out!
Every year I hear from students who want to take my encaustic workshops but live too far away to fly in for just one or two days. With them in mind I offer my Wax Week class, a 5-day intensive workshop that combines some of my most popular classes with some brand new techniques that will keep you creating new work for years to come.
I’ll have two Wax Week sessions this year that will cover different techniques, so you can choose the workshop that best suits your style:
Wax Week: From the Ground Up (only 2 spots left!)
Mon – Fri, July 20-24, 2015
Subjects include creating beautiful backgrounds before you wax, working creatively and safely with shellac, mixing different media within one painting, secrets of creating depth, pouring wax for an ultra smooth finish, and taking your painting from start to finish. All levels are welcome.
Wax Week: Mixing Media*
Mon – Fri, Oct. 5 – 9, 2015
Subjects include mixing different media within one painting, creating transfers with photographs, drawings and rubbings, texture and embossing, secrets of creating depth and taking your painting from start to finish. All levels are welcome.
Most supplies will be provided including wax, paint, brushes, paper, boards, and basic encaustic tools. Space is limited to 6 students and classes fill quickly. I hope to see you soon. More detailed information, photos and registration here!
* Those of you coming in October will get an extra bonus: The timing on this class is perfect to also attend Portland Open Studios on Oct. 10 – 11. You can choose from almost 100 art studios to visit including some of my favorite Portland painters who work in encaustic. Don’t miss this!
Encaustic Fix It Clinic
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Go on, admit it. How many times have you wondered what’s wrong with that painting? It may be a technical problem or a place where all of your colors turn to mud. Or maybe you just can’t put your finger on it and need another opinion. In this class each artist will share one of their problem paintings with the class and we’ll discuss options for fixing it, then you’ll have the rest of the class to do just that, with help readily available of course!
Here’s how it works: You choose 1 or 2 of your problem paintings and bring them to class. We’ll work as a group to help you discover how to improve you work or discuss how to solve any technical issues. With this collaborative approach we can all learn from each others challenges. No class will ever be the same because what we cover depends on who is attending and what questions arise.
This class is not intended to teach you new techniques, but rather to help you perfect those you have tried but are having trouble with. In addition to your questions, you’ll benefit from the help the other students need as well. I hope you’ll join me for a low pressure way to learn from your (and everyone else’s) mistakes!
Confirmation, directions to my studio and additional information will be emailed to each student upon registration. Space is limited to 4 students so classes fill quickly. View class photos and register here
Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and creative new year! To help you with the creative part use the promo code below to get $20 OFF any (or all) of my online encaustic classes.
Taking classes online gives you the benefit of watching the videos as many times as you need to in order to feel comfortable trying it yourself. I offer several different classes including Painting & Texture, Encaustic & Collage, Stencils, Wax Transfers, and Shellac. Each class page has a free bonus video as well as a video excerpt from the actual class, so I encourage you to view those videos even if you don’t take the class.
Just go to http://www.RobertsonWorkshops.com and click on the link of the class you want to take. At checkout enter “NewYear20” where it says “apply promo code” and enjoy! (Offer Expires 1/5/2015. Good for the “rent all” option to purchase a full class, not for individual lessons. This can’t be applied to previous registrations and cannot be redeemed for cash.) FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS!
Treat yourself to some fun before the end of the year in one of my live classes:
Making Encaustic Medium & Paint
Tuesday, Oct. 21. All levels welcome.
Special Effects with Dry Pigments (New!)
Saturday, Oct. 25. Intermediate level class.
Introduction to Encaustic Painting & Texture
Saturday, Nov. 1 or Dec. 6. All levels welcome.
Surface Design with Stencils
Saturday, Nov. 8, Intermediate level class.
Encaustic Monotypes & Paper Lanterns (New!)
Saturday, Nov. 15. All levels welcome.
Capture Memories with Encaustic Collage
Saturday, Jan. 10, All levels welcome.
View class photos, descriptions and register at the link below. For most classes all supplies are included and no experience is necessary. These classes will be held in my private studio in Portland, Oregon.
So that’s it for another Wax Week! I only do these 5 day intensive classes once or twice a year and it’s always exciting for me to watch such an enthusiastic community of artists bound by wax. I usually have students from several states and this session was no different except that several of them could claim many states as their home since they happened to be in transition. No matter, everyone came with an open mind, an open heart and kind words for their fellow artists.
New techniques learned, exciting art created and new friendships formed. I love to see everyone swapping contact info before they leave. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
I’m planning my Wax Week dates for 2015 now! If you’re interested in joining us please sign up for my free newsletter to be notified when dates are finalized. I hope to see you in Portland soon!
When Fred Swan and I had our show together People’s Art gallery a couple of years ago we looked at those big beautiful windows with the light streaming in and knew something special was going to happen there.
After some discussion about what would best fill that space we were intrigued by the idea of wax scrolls. We worked independently on them, then brought our creations together as an installation in that front window. Having so many panels of paper and wax with that delicate natural light penetrating them filled the space with energy and movement. It was beautiful! People were very excited about the feel and scent of these art works, as well as their visual appeal.
Since that show I’ve made (a lot!) more scrolls and I’ve come up with new ways to add color and patterns to the paper, cut outs to be removed and reattached and a new way to hang them. It’s such a relaxing and meditative process, but it also gives you the instant satisfaction of making a 5 foot long piece of art in a day! If you’d like to try this yourself come see me in my Portland, Oregon studio this Saturday, 9/27. There are just a few spots left in this class and it won’t be offered again until next summer. If you’re not in the area join my mailing list to be notified when my online class for this is ready! I’m making big plans for that right now…
Great news! My online encaustic classes are now available by the class or by the lesson, allowing you to purchase exactly what you need. A few lessons are as little as $5 and each class page has at least one free bonus video.
Each page has a free excerpt from the class plus at least one free bonus video! Check them out here: http://www.RobertsonWorkshops.com/
Are you new to encaustic? Not a problem! You should know that encaustic is one of the oldest forms of painting, with paint made from pure pigment mixed with beeswax and resin. The mixture is applied hot, and then reheated to fuse the layers together. It’s one of the most forgiving mediums available, allowing you to “undo” virtually anything, giving you the freedom to be fearless and let your creativity flow. My online encaustic classes will get you started working in this beautiful and unique medium in no time.
Last week I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful people and pet photographer, Pauline Zonneveld, who booked time with me for a private consulting session to bring her vision of pairing encaustic and photography to life. She did her homework and brought a variety of images she liked cut out from magazines. This gave us a good basis to start with and from there I helped Pauline decide on a process and we talked about how to start developing her own distinctive style.
I took Pauline through a couple of different ways to get a look similar to what she liked. She decided that image transfers would be the best route for her based on the equipment she already has, so we got to work.
Here’s what she came up with. This photo was taken right after Pauline did a great little dance saying “Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted!” Well done Pauline!
My August sessions are already booked but if you’d like to work with me in September or later check my website for ideas of what you might want to cover and how to register. This is ideal for artists who can’t make it to my regular workshops or those visiting the area who need to work within a specific schedule.
BTW, Pauline is the photographer who took these amazing images of my 12 year old lab Sadie for her inspiring Good Old Dog Project.
This weekend I attended the International Encaustic Artists annual conference called encaustiCon, in San Antonio Texas. It was a wonderful event with lectures, workshops, networking events and a great vendor room. I highly recommend it!
A highlight of the event was their banquet which included presentation of the first annual La Vendéenne awards, where I was thrilled to win a trophy in the Media category.
The La Vendéenne Awards were named in honor of a fourth century AD encaustic painter whose remains, along with her encaustic tools, were found in the La Vendée region of France. The awards are intended to “recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement and practice of encaustic art.”
Awards were presented in several categories, and here are the winners!
The jurors for the award included Gail Stavitsky, Chief Curator of the Montclair Art Museum (NJ), Paula Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest School of Art (TX) and David S. Rubin, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brown Foundation (TX). The beautiful trophy was crafted by James Meyer, an extremely generous and gifted artist and studio assistant to Jasper Johns. I have to admit, part of me wants to press the trophy into wax. Is that wrong?
As happy as I was to win the award, I was equally thrilled to see my work appear during the keynote speech, in Dr. Stavitsky’s slide show about contemporary encaustic work. You may recognize her name from the groundbreaking exhibition she curated in 1999 called Waxing Poetic, Encaustic Art in America. Waxing Poetic featured more than fifty artists whose content, style and subject matter differed widely but whose medium of choice was the same, wax. That show was the first introduction to encaustic for many gallery owners, reviewers and other artists.
The International Encaustic Artists 2013 encaustiCon, will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Eldorado Hotel from Oct. 31st ~ Nov. 3rd, 2013. Will I see you there?
I’m proud to have an article in the current issue of Encaustic Arts Magazine called “Creating and Embracing New Opportunities” which tells the story of how my book, Embracing Encaustic, led to many more new opportunities including my online encaustic classes at RobertsonWorkshops.com.
Here’s an excerpt: “As the huge truck pulled up in front of my house I got a chill up my spine. I knew the books would arrive sometime that week but no one seemed to want to give me a firm delivery date. I watched as the driver struggled to maneuver the bulky pallet through my garden gate and I worried that it wouldn’t fit. As he drove away, leaving me with box after box of my new encaustic book I thought, not for the first time, “What have I done?”
It all started about 5 years ago when one of my students mentioned that she couldn’t find an encaustic book with step-by-step instructions for beginners. That got me thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to put one together, especially with the new print-on-demand services that had recently become available for self-publishing books online. Using this service they would be printed as they were purchased, so I would never need to print a large number of books. By that evening I had decided which service to use, downloaded the software and purchased the Internet domain name Embracing Encaustic.”
Read the whole article online. It’s a very inspiring magazine, so please share it with your friends!
Last week I hosted a 5-day Wax Week Mixed Media workshop in my Portland, Oregon studio. I usually travel across the country offering this workshop at schools like Idyllwild Arts in California and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennessee, but I needed some time off from all the packing and unpacking so I invited students to come visit me this year.
Students from Washington, California, Colorado and Texas joined in the fun working with encaustic paint, paper, pastels, stamps, pigment sticks, inks, encaustic monotypes, wax scrolls and more! Here are a few photographs from the June session.
If you missed this Wax Week class you have another chance in August when the weather in Portland will be spectacular for a visit. Come join us!
After living in a new house for a while, did you ever decide that you wanted to rearrange the rooms to make better use of them? Something like that has happened on RobertsonWorkshops.com. After some valuable feedback from students, we’ve decided to change our classes to better fit how you want to learn.
Starting now, you can begin any class immediately–no waiting for a class to begin! If you can buy it, you can watch it right now. What’s more, you have access to all the videos, class notes and community chat for six full months from your day of registration. Your instructor will answer questions online during the first seven days of every month, and you’ll be able to discuss your projects with other students in your class during the entire length of the class.
All classes are under $50 and gift certificates are available for the perfect holiday present.